tv [untitled] October 11, 2011 11:30pm-12:00am PDT
he did not in bed ada into the police station. that is a bad idea. they start sleeping with each other, literally. i am serious. keep independent. you should have a representative of each district, but don't put them in a police station. >> we still have community issues. what is the problem? we are not keeping it real. we have to talk about the elephant in the room. many communities feel that they are being targeted because of their skin color or a variety of other reasons. we have to talk about it. racial tensions are not new to me. how do we deal with those issues? by talking about them. by bringing the d a s a leader
of an umbrella action to talk about these issues, to hammer out a solution where trust is restored because we are experiencing a crisis in confidence. video the flareups is not going to solve the problem. the can't ignore it, we actually have to talk about what the problem is. people feel that they're being targeted because of their skin color or their socio-economic status. that has to end. >> the site of money, what is the greatest obstacle to the attorney's office? >> aside from money, the lack of technology. the technology is very antiquated and this is an area i've been working very aggressively to operate.
we have been reaching out to other partners in the community. we have already started a modernization process. we're leaning towards the creation of a better technological solution to many of our cases. >> this is similar to my answer to the last question. but we are missing through trust and collaboration with the community. that is what we need to make it safer. we need people in every neighborhood of the city to trust the police, trust our prosecutors, to come forward as victims and work together to make our streets safer. right now, that trust is not very and i am running for district attorney to bring that trust back. >> we need to modernize the investigative unit. you need to go out and solve crimes.
modernize that unit, and regarding the lawyers, it raises the bar. you make them highly efficient. >> experience and visionary leadership. i've experienced leadership by leading the aledo trial teams from public integrity, restitution, sexual assault, creating model programs throughout the state and throughout the country. and leadership outside the office, there are over 111 police agencies. nobody is talking to anybody. we have to work with other jurisdictions that have a regional approach. criminals don't respect the borders. our criminal justice response
needs to be one of coordinated action. i had a nine-county task force. i acquired three of the thousand dollars of federal funding. i want to bring the same regional approach in dealing with criminal justice going forward in partnership with organizations beyond san francisco. >> it is largely a trial attorney's office. one thing that they really don't need is technology. very few people have computers. lucky need is leadership, training, and the need to give the district attorney's discretion. so they won't have to run to their boss who doesn't want to make a decision. let the young district attorney make decisions. if they make the wrong
decision, they will hopefully learn from the errors of their ways. who is best equipped to do that? somebody who has never been in a courtroom before. they'll get the respect of the deputies that go there every day. >> if it is shown that they intentionally withheld evidence, would you promised to fire that lawyer? >> to file criminal charges against him like they would police officers >-- >> what steps would you take in
administering the san francisco -- what you do to ensure a healthy balance in having the best career prosecutors and still getting a continuing infusion of new and talented lawyers? >> we need to being the best -- and bring the best and brightest attorneys. there is an incredible lack of talent that meets the proper leadership and the proper vision. as we bring in new talent, we should be bringing in the best people throughout the country and bringing in attorneys that reflect the diversity of san francisco, also in the management levels. i think there is no reason that we should be known as having the best district attorney's office in the country.
it does have that reputation. they want to come to san francisco. i want to make the office in a destination for people around the country that would like to work in the d.a.'s office. >> the office is a bureaucracy right now. it is a story about when he was fired by the da. the d.a. claims that he wanted to be no. 2. so he fired him. you know, if you want to be no. 2, and i was the leader, i would fire you. if you want to be number one, you are on. give them protection. when you have fear, you can't execute.
they work at will. they're firing anybody they want for anybody. they need a civil service protection. the unions understand them. police understand them. we should bring that to justice. and then we will see the justice gets done. >> i think it is important to have an office that people want to come to. it is my commitment to make san francisco one of the best in the country so it is no longer just to the county referred to when we talk about the best offices in the country. we need to have leadership that has been there and done that, leadership that can train the lawyers. in order to lead an army of trial lawyers, you need to walk a mile in their shoes to earn and gained the trust of those lawyers. i have a federal clerkship in
the northern district. i chose to go to the d a's office. i like these advances could be a office to be the place that people turned down offers to go to. it is important to have an internship program that is one of the best in the country. they know how they are in it for the duration. >> i am here to defend the district attorney's office. it was one of the most enviable job to get in today, i see a lot of that edta is here. no trouble, no problem attracting people. this is san francisco. would you rather live in san francisco or oakland? [laughter] san francisco going way back to the days of terence howard has a very diverse administration.
there are african americans and asians administrative -- asian- americans in administrative places. i know more people in that office than anybody up there. i will work with them and inspire them to bigger and better things. have they will do well because they want to do well. >> i agree, as a matter of fact, they are reaching rounds of interviews where we are attracting many candidates for compensation. recruitment is not a problem. it is a very desirable place to work. it goes beyond that. i have restructured the office and we have the highest number of women that are in positions of authority. two women in the very top echelons.
we are also looking to have people that have different skills sets whether it is cultural or language. i created working groups in the office. they are looking for ways to improve the quality of the offices. we have created a more formalized internship program. we're also creating more formalized training. the also want to make sure that people are promoted to based on merit. >> other areas of concern related to political corruption? and would you give special emphasis to prosecution? >> i am sure there is a concern with federal corruption everywhere, including san francisco and all through the states. a name for me the last politician here over in city
hall. the guy was a supervisor and he is leading his community. -- bleeding his community. it is a serious crime to the chinese community. but when you have a minority community that there is no trust, if it is happening with the board of supervisors, it is systemic. we need to take care of that problem. i will make that my number one issue, political corruption and government corruption. >> can you repeat the question? >> other areas of concern relating to political corruption? would you give any special emphasis to prosecution of political corruption? >> there is a concern about how allegations are being handled. you can read the paper.
investigations that need to occur aren't occurring. we know as lawyers, the standard and sufficiency of the evidence is not a standard for opening an investigation. and yet, we hear from the dna that was a political appointee that there is insufficient evidence to open an investigation. first and foremost, we don't put politics first. that is why this is a job for a prosecutor that knows what she is doing and that has the ability to stand up to interests. and to do what is right no matter how powerful and influential people are. investigation clear is a cloud of suspicion even if the cloud is wrongfully there. everyone is served by a vigorous unit like the one that i had to oversee public integrity and
corruption. >> there is often a sense of political corruption in san francisco and very little has been done about it. i looked at the city charter. one of the provisions said that in order to the district attorney, you have to be an active member of the bar five years preceding the election. as you read it down, the city attorney is prohibited from endorsing any elected official. a thought to myself, i am getting in this race late. most of the people that would endorse me before including other alexians have already made endorsements. why don't i take the high road and say that i refuse to accept the endorsement of any elected public official. as district attorney, i will refuse to endorse the campaign of any collective public
official. i am free and independent from any influence. >> as a matter of fact, when i reorganize the office, i restructured our public corruption unit. i think it is very important for our office to look at public corruption. it is also important that we do not allow the district attorney's office to become a political tool for any one group just because somebody wants to impact somebody else's career. i tell you i will never do that. i you the authority of the district attorney's office as a very awesome, and i will be judicious about the way i use it and have done so already. we must be sure we use our authority ethically and legally. we do not investigate and prosecute cases because we can. we investigate and prosecute cases because we should.
and a public corruption will be an absolute top priority in my administration. we now have a public that does not believe that public corruption is taken seriously in this town and once again, the road to trust that is so central to making us all safer. we need to put public corruption front and center, and we need to do fair and thorough investigation is of serious allegations of public corruption. whenever we may find, wherever those may lead, we need to have fair and thorough investigation, and i think it is clear from the press reports and from what we all know about what happened with the d a's office, that there have not been fair and thorough investigations because you cannot do a thorough investigation in a day or two. we need somebody who is going to step up to the plate and deliver what the people need -- fair and thorough investigation of public corruption. >> that is the last of the prepared questions.
we are going good questions from the audience in a moment, but i have one more lightning round question, and this is the one that will take most courage to answer. we now have rank choice voters. aside from yourself, do you recommend as second or third choices for the voters? >> we were asked this question last night. i think we need change, and i think i am the person to lead that change, and at this point, i do not endorse anybody for second or third. >> honestly believe i am first, and none of the candidates here today would be anyone i would recommend at this point. >> i have to join them in that. [laughter] i like to think i am number one, and a i am number one, it is irrelevant who is two or three. >> [inaudible] >> if i listen to mr. fazio's e-
mail that he sent me asking me to withdraw, i could not even rank myself no. 1. [laughter] but if i returned the favor and asked him, -- >> i asked for two names. all right, thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. we will now go to the questions that have been submitted. glitzy -- let's see. ok. what is your view of the revision or elimination of the three strikes rule? we will go back to the beginning. >> thanks. that is not a yes or no? let me say that the three
strikes law is broken and requires revision. i am committed to never filing as a third strike in -- unless it has to be serious or violent. this is where experience comes in as well. just because it is a violent or serious felony does not mean it should be a third strike for a second strike. that is why you want a d.a. that has been charging cases, that has been teaching highly charged and that has been doing this work for 22 years, so we can bring that kind of discretion to make the right calls for this community. >> i think that is why you need somebody who has not only been a ba but has also been a defense attorney. an individual who is able to give you a balanced approach by deciding when to file third strikes. simply because somebody has two violent felonies from years ago and commits a new offense does not mean that he or she should be treated as a third strike
appeared likewise, somebody who have more recent ones who commits a minor offense may not also. it depends on what the community wants and what the community needs, and you find that out by having been there, having done that, and having been part of that community. >> i have been a longtime opponent of three strikes. i work at the state level to try to come up with different solutions and i will not seek and have not sought any restrike cases in non-violent, non- serious cases. furthermore, one of the things we do in the office is we review those cases. i believe that three strikes needs to be reformed. are not think it is enough to say we would do it in sanford's is good because san francisco has been very thoughtful for many years about the way we handle three strikes, but that is now the case statewide, and we have to make sure it is fixed, and today, it is broken.
>> i will only charge serious and violent crimes s third strikes in san francisco and not every serious and violent crime. you look at it on a case by case basis, but we do need to go further. we need to change state law, and i have been at the forefront of that. i also have worked closely with some of the leaders of this movement around the state to reform restrike spirit like michael romano, like the head of the three strikes clinic at stanford law school, who again has endorsed me. look at the leaders of who the commit -- who the leaders of the community are and who they support in these issues. that tells you where i will do when i get into office. i will be an absolute leader locally and statewide in reforming three strikes to focus on serious crimes. am i supports the reform of the three strikes law so that it targets serious and violent offenders, but it is not likely it will happen because people
are in fear. when you hear these stories of what these strikers are doing, and then when they are caught -- even when they are committing some type of -- and it has to be a felony. they are committing a felony. the three strikes law takes them out of commission. the discretion is there, though. the discretion is there for the district attorney and assistant district attorney and the judges to not apply the three strikes law so that the people that are on the front lines from the judges to the assistant district attorney to the defense -- they have to have life experience and know and understand -- is this the person we are going to walk away, or is this the person we will give a third or fourth chance to? >> what are your thoughts about using civil gang injunctions as a tool for addressing gang
violence? >> i think in opprobrious circumstance, that might work. i will partner with the public defender and city attorney to see if we could decide on what, if anything, needs to be done, and i think that opens another issue -- can a district attorney use a city attorney in certain matters? i think they can hear it when i was a young prosecutor, we engaged in collaboration with the district attorney in shutting down businesses which were selling illicit drugs, and i mean serious drugs -- heroin and things of that nature -- by recognizing it to be a public nuisance and by using sections of the welfare and institutions code and business and professions code. as district attorney, i would contact the city attorney to see whether they might do like they do in los angeles and prosecute minor misdemeanors but more importantly, work with the city attorney in looking at areas not currently being addressed -- labour code violations, health code violations, business and professional code violations and things of that nature, to increase the viability of the
district attorney's office in protecting the public. >> i believe that on a limited basis, gang injunctions can be very effective. they must be narrowly tailored as to people and places, but when you do so and you narrowly tailored to the right places and the right people, you can save lives, including many of the gang members and joan did. i know from personal experience that gang injunctions save lives. but if they are too broadly crafted, they become of uses, and they erode the public trust, especially in minority communities. as a tool, like any other, they have to be narrowly tailored and monitor on a regular basis to make sure that it is done right. if it is done right, it can be a good tool to work with. >> the city attorney is in charge of these, but i oppose them because i think they do and
they are eroding that trust. if you look at communities in the mission, for example, who are organizing against gang in junctions, part of the problem is they do not offer anything positive to the young people who are being put under the purview of the injunction. they are simply saying -. we need a balanced approach that combines the law enforcement part with services and support to these people. the gang injunction does not do that at all, and that is why i think it is very problematic. at the same time, if we're going to have one, and that is not my call as d.a., i want to work with the city attorney to make sure there as clear as possible. are people who have never been arrested or convicted. if you have been convicted, but but the conditions on your terms of probation or parole. i have no problem with that, but someone who has never been arrested or convicted -- i think their rights are -- their rights are being violated. >> it is being implemented all through the state because
criminal street gangs is a very serious problem in our community, but the civil injunction most likely by late the constitution because it is very vague and broad. most of the times when you have a criminal street gangs, it comes from new immigrants that are coming. if you look at the street gang and the history of it, you see it through the italians, the irish, and then through the asian community and hispanics. the way to really attack that is early psychological teaching of the children, why they are attached to these signs and symbols. we need a collaborative effort with educators as well as the criminal justice system to not be so attached to names and symbols. even though i was not a native san franciscan, i would ask for your support in that sense.
>> i agree they have to be narrowly tailored. i think the research has shown they are saving lives. as a mother, i would rather my son have a curfew then i'd be called to a crime scene and see, as i have seen, somebody's brain fluttered against a wall because of an ak-47. let's narrowly tailor these to make sure people's lives are saved, but we have to take it one step further than that. let's look at prevention. i am private have the endorsement of the california reentry institute where we are using formerly incarcerated individuals who were part of gangs coming back into their communities once they are released to educate. so that we can actually educate our kids that gang violence does not pay. we need to deal with not just prevention on the streets in terms of these restrictions, but also in terms of education. >> how do you view your relationship with your deputies
from the public defender's office and the defense attorney? >> actually, very good. i am told that i have in the first district attorney in the history of san francisco to actually want to address public defenders. i have had a good working relationship that dates back to when i first came here as chief of police and i reached out to him, and that relationship continues today. we have working groups now addressing areas of concern between the two offices. it is a work in progress. the relationship for many years has not been good, but i have to say that they are much better today than they have been in the past, and we will continue to work on it to make sure we reach a level of civility. within a few offices, it makes a difference for the people we serve. >> the relationship between the two offices? >> it is a crucial relationship,
and it needs to be a productive and collaborative relationship. when you are in the courtroom, you are opposing counsel, but outside, we have the same goal -- to make san francisco state for, the people coming through our courts turn their lives around once the prosecution is over. i think we need to create an environment where we can work together. i in turn in the public defender's office juvenile division for patty, who has been a longtime managing director there. i have seen it from that side, and i think we need to have a collaborative relationship, and it has not been that way in the past. i will say that - standing as it has improved, but i think it could not have gotten any worse from when george came into office. >> it should be a professional relationship, but their two missions are different. the mission of law enforcement and the mission of the d a's office is to present the truth